It was one of the most stunning endings to a college football game in recent memory and it was one in a season that has had quite a few fantastic finishes. For ESPN, Michigan State at Michigan in the Big House in Ann Arbor was not only a tremendous game to watch, but it was also a ratings success for the Worldwide Leader.

The game drew a 5.1 overnight rating, making it the most-watched college football game of the weekend not just on ESPN, but on any network including CBS, NBC, Fox, FS and the ESPN family. It peaked at a 7.2 in the last quarter-hour of the game as Michigan State recovered a fumbled punt snap which was returned for the winning Spartans score as time ran out.

According to Sports Media Watch, the game’s overnight number was higher than Alabama-Arkansas which aired on ESPN in a later timeslot on the subsequent weekend last year. It’s the best rating for an October college football game on the network since 2000 and it’s the second-highest overnight of the season.

By comparison, ABC’s late-afternoon game, Oklahoma-Kansas State drew its lowest overnight of the season. And the SEC on CBS contest, Alabama at Texas A&M which ended in a Crimson Tide blowout resulted in lower numbers and also trailed ESPN.

The games that followed Michigan State-Michigan on ESPN also experienced good numbers as the audience mostly stayed for Florida-LSU and even for the late-night game which pitted Arizona State and Utah.

[Sports Media Watch]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

Comments are closed.